My favorite chapter in the Bible is Psalm 139. If you have been a Christian for some time you are probably familiar with at least a portion of it. If you are new to Christianity, you may have encountered the phrase “fearfully and wonderfully made” which is part of verse 14.
“fearfully and wonderfully made”
I fell in love with this chapter when I heard Michael W. Smith’s rendition of it as a spoken word (found here on YouTube – I highly recommend you watch it). At the time I did not know he was reciting the Bible but I felt his words pierce my soul. I was in high school and just starting to take my relationship with God seriously.
Hearing that God created me, that He thinks about me and that He has written out my days was comforting. However, the idea of God searching me and knowing everything about me was terrifying! This chapter says that God can see all of me and that He knows my thoughts. It says that there is nowhere I can go where God can’t find me. I felt that God was going to search me to judge me. There would be no way to outrun or hide from His wrath.
As my relationship with God grew deeper, my perception of God changed. In light of God’s overflowing love for us, this chapter takes on a completely different meaning. It demonstrates that God knows everything about us, He knows who we really are. The chapter begins “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” and towards the end David asks “Search me, God, and know my heart”. If God already knows him, why would David ask to be searched? Because the process of being searched is for us to discover what is within.
If we allow it, God will show us our intentions and the motives behind our actions. He will unearth areas of our life that we have not surrendered to Him, and will point out sin we may not have recognized. This is the first step in growth because we cannot address what we cannot see. We will not go to the doctor asking to be cured of a disease we do not think we have.
In these trying times, many of us have been forced to stay still. Others are risking their lives every day. The worries and challenges we are facing make it tempting to numb our minds with social media and television. I have done this far more than I would like to admit. Still, I know a unique opportunity is before us. If we welcome God’s searching, we can leave this season better than when we started.
A wise man once told me “you can’t be truly loved until you’re fully known”. God’s unwavering love for us is demonstrated in the fact that, knowing us completely, He gave His son for us so we can have a relationship with Him. Now we can choose to go deeper, to peel back the layers of our heart and allow God to reach inside, to heal, renew and restore. Will it be easy? Probably not. Will it be painful? Maybe. Will it be worth it? Definitely.
“you can’t be truly loved until you’re fully known”
As we welcome this searching, we will experience true, unconditional love. All we have to do is let God in and yield as he leads us in the way everlasting.